Impact of risks at work on women and men

Sexist messages that are deeply rooted in patriarchal myths, prejudices and stereotypes often marginalize and underestimate women at work.

“Psycho-social risks have a special negative impact on women,” said Lucía García, a training specialist at a project design company (EPROGIV).

“Related factors involve women’s double shift (at work and at home),” she indicated at a workshop on the application of the gender approach to business management.

The event was held last October 13 in Havana, under the auspices of a knowledge management company (GECYT).

“There is an urgent need to pay close attention to diseases that affect working women and men in quite a different manner,” she added.

There are male-chauvinistic views like “I like men better than women at work because the former never get sick.”

“Psycho-social risks have to do with the design, organization and management of labor, and with the social and environmental context that may lead to physical and/or psychological damage,” she stressed.

Such risks include stress, chronic fatigue, the burnout syndrome, and various forms of violence.

“Household chores should be taken up by all family members so that women can truly overcome the double-shift-associated burden,” she told SEMlac.

“Women usually play the role of caregivers and suffer from psychosomatic pains,” she emphasized.

She favors the idea of making special emphasis on work-related diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, depression, etc., and conducting further studies along these lines.

“Public policies and good practices are not always in tune,” she regretted.

Sara Artiles, a GECYT consultant, feels that additional training should be provided to company managers and other senior staff members to give special consideration to cross-cutting issues that have an impact on women and men.

“Physical risks are often addressed, while stress and harassment are usually ignored,” she told SEMlac.
“We have started to bring all these issues to the business context,” she concluded.

Translated by Adolfo Fuentes

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